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Richard Marvin   (Composer - 'Surrogates') Richard Marvin (Composer - 'Surrogates')

'You Know My Surrogate City’

Composer Richard Marvin reunites for the fourth time with Director Jonathan Mostow for the sci-fi thriller "Surrogates."

Marvin incorporates over 120 musicians, along with electronic elements, to create an epic dramatic score.

The film describes a near future where humans live in isolation and only interact through robotic bodies that serve as surrogates. When several humans are murdered after their surrogates are destroyed, a cop (Bruce Willis) investigates the crimes through his own surrogate.

After a near fatal encounter, the cop's surrogate is destroyed and forces him to bring his human form out of isolation and unravel a conspiracy behind the crimes.

In addition to scoring "Surrogates," Marvin worked closely with director Curtis Hanson to write the music for the new fall series "Three Rivers."

Exclusive Magazine recently chatted with Richard Marvin to learn more about his influences, his work with Jonathan Mostow, how he records all his music, and, of course ... Penguins!

Taking it from the top and what were your musical influences growing up and how many still factor into your music today? "Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, Beatles, EW & F, Stones, Blood Sweat and Tears, Cold Blood, Chicago .... then later, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Maurice Jarre, Tom Newman, David Newman, Hans Zimmer. Yes, they all influence me and my music."

For the Average Joe who may not have heard, or realized they'd heard one of your previous scores and was thinking of buying “Surrogates - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”, how would you describe your sound? "'Surrogates' is a combination of huge aggressive orchestral/electronic action music, and eerie, tension filled music with a touch of emotion."

This film is a sci-fi thriller in a near future where humans live in isolation and only interact through robotic bodies that serve as surrogates… How did you approach this film and capture the elements of the story and themes? "By trying many ideas and concepts with Jonathan."

“Surrogates” marks your 4th collaboration with director Jonathan Mostow: “U571,” “Flight of Black Angel,” and “Breakdown.” How did this feature differ from previous collaborations with this director? "We grow more comfortable with each other, trusting each other's opinions and feelings."

Have you become one of Jonathan Mostow’s go-to composers like Spielberg and Lucas go to John Williams when they start a project? "It appears like that... I hope so!!"

I’ve read you worked with over 120 musicians, along with electronic elements, to create this film’s score. How do you manage so many different/distinct sounds then weave them into your vision? "I write in a program called Digital Performer that keeps all elements in one environment until I record final versions of synth and orchestra into ProTools. Also having Tom Vicari mix the score saves the day in terms of keeping everything organized."

How easy (or hard) is it to create a new, vibrant, sound that both builds on the feature you’re scoring and surpasses the musical wonderment's/accomplishments that preceded it within the industry of music and film? "It's always hard to be creative."

You’ve done scores for many major motion picture and television series. Do you have a preference and how do they differ in terms of development? "I don't have a preference, I enjoy both. With a TV show I have 3-4 days to write 30 minutes of music, and in the case of Surrogates, I had several months. This enables my to perhaps look for new ways to solve problems and come up with more original music."

What projects are you working on right now or in the near future that we can look forward to hearing? "TV shows Three Rivers (CBS) and In Treatment (HBO)."

When not composing what other activities do you like to do? "Spend time with my family and friends, play raquetball, go to soccer matches and watch the EPL on TV."

Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love Penguins ... do you?! "Sure, from a distance!!"

Interview: Ken Tebo

'Surrogates' CD Purchase Link

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